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Intl Medal Awarded To NZ Red Cross Aid Worker

News Release
3 June 2009

International Medal Awarded To New Zealand Red Cross Aid Worker


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While others her age may be slowing down, there is no stopping New Zealand Red Cross aid worker Joyce Hood. Ms Hood has recently been awarded the Florence Nightingale medal by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Florence Nightingale medal is the highest honour within the nursing profession. It is awarded to people who distinguish themselves in times of peace or war by showing exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled or to civilian victims of conflict or disaster.

As a nurse, 66-year-old Ms Hood from Remuera, Auckland has been a New Zealand Red Cross aid worker for the past 11 years and has undertaken 10 missions encompassing 75 months of field service in countries such as Afghanistan, Kenya, Timor Leste and South Ossetia.

Speaking from South Ossetia where she is currently on mission, Ms Hood says she was gob smacked and very honored.

“I am very humbled to be awarded the Florence Nightingale medal. The work I do with New Zealand Red Cross is very rewarding and I get just as much back from it as I give,” says Ms Hood.

In nominating Ms Hood for the medal, New Zealand Red Cross International Operations Manager Andrew McKie noted that Ms Hood’s life has been one of hard work and service to others.

Given her expertise and experience Mr McKie says many of Ms Hood’s missions have been in areas considered highly volatile.

“Joyce has undertaken four missions to Afghanistan, both during and after the Taliban’s rule, these missions were understandably conducted under difficult circumstances,” says Mr McKie.

50 Florence Nightingale medals are awarded worldwide every two years. Ms Hood is the 24th New Zealand nurse to be honoured with the Florence Nightingale medal, the first having been awarded in 1920.

Ms Hood is currently working in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia her 10th mission with New Zealand Red Cross. During her mission Ms Hood is working on home nursing programmes and assisting with the transfer of patients in need of urgent medical attention.

Caption: New Zealand Red Cross aid worker and Florence nightingale medal recipient Joyce Hood on mission in South Ossetia. Photo credit: New Zealand Red Cross.

Background

Joyce Hood’s mission history with New Zealand Red Cross

2009 South Ossetia, Tskhinvali

2008 South Ossetia, Tskhinvali

2007 Sudan, Khartoum

2006 Afghanistan, Kandahar

2004 Afghanistan, Jalalabad

2003 Afghanistan, Kandahar

2002 Kenya, Lokichokia

2001 Sudan, Juba

2000 Timor Leste, Dili

1999 Afghanistan, Kandahar

ENDS

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